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Faulty asbestos removal leads to criminal charges

Imagine this scenario. You are unknowingly exposed to asbestos, and you learn of that exposure a few weeks after it occurs. Perhaps you were not familiar of the risks associated with asbestos prior to your exposure, but research after the fact informs you that you are now at a high risk of developing mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer or a host of other diseases. Unfortunately, those ailments often take decades to materialize, meaning that you will spend the next several years worrying about the future and angry about the events that got you to this place.

One of the most difficult aspects of mesothelioma is its long latency period. By the time the disease develops, it is often difficult to determine who was responsible for the exposure that probably happened many decades ago. Therefore, it is promising when local governments take swift action to identify and hold responsible the people that cause asbestos exposure and its often deadly results.

In a recent example of this, a New Jersey man is now facing more than 30 criminal charges in connection with his allegedly faulty asbestos removal work at 21 homes and 13 schools, including a daycare center. According to court documents, the man operated a environmental consulting business, but was not licensed to remove asbestos. However, he told clients that he was licensed, ultimately leading to 36 charges of removal or encapsulation of asbestos without a license as well as charges of theft by deception and uttering a forged document.

And because he did not sufficiently remove all of the asbestos, which launched the investigation that ultimately led to his arrest, he is also facing 10 charges of unlawfully releasing toxic pollutants through faulty asbestos removal. Hopefully, his negligence does not cause any children to suffer asbestos-related injuries or illnesses.

Source: The Star-Ledger, "Woodbridge man charged with performing faulty asbestos removal on dozens of schools, homes," Tom Haydon, Aug. 2, 2012

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